• Appeals court hints at narrow Prop. 8 ruling (SF Chronicle)

    The federal appeals court in the Proposition 8 case hinted Monday at a ruling that would allow gays and lesbians to marry in California while leaving other states’ laws intact – a restrained approach seemingly designed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Full article

  • Schwarzenegger proposal rebuffed (Contra Costa Times)

    Moments after legislators were sworn in to office Monday, Democratic leaders rebuffed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal for more sweeping cuts in social services as his remedy to tackle the state’s $6.1 billion deficit that lingers from last month’s budget agreement. In creating a special session to deal with what he declared to be a fiscal emergency, most of the budget cuts that Schwarzenegger proposed surprisingly are geared toward the next fiscal year, when Gov.-elect Jerry Brown will be in charge. The outgoing governor offered only $1.9 billion in cuts to address the $6.1 billion current year deficit, and another $8 billion for the 2011-12 fiscal year. Full article

  • Tax Deal Suggests New Path for Obama (NY Times)

    President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans on Monday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years as part of a package that would also keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, cut payroll taxes for all workers for a year and take other steps to bolster the economy. Full article

  • High-speed rail agency urged to rethink planning (SF Chronicle)

    California’s nascent high-speed rail program “needs a thorough reassessment” of how it is being planned and managed, a peer review group has concluded. The eight-person group, created after voters approved the $10 billion high-speed rail bond measure in 2008, includes experts in high-speed rail, transportation, finance and planning. It is headed by former Caltrans Director Will Kempton, now executive director of the Orange County Transportation Authority. Full article

  • Discussions on downtown high speed rail track begins (San Jose Mercury News)
  • Mention the words “high-speed rail” to some San Jose residents and business owners, and the image of an ugly aerial track comes to mind. The elevated track — from 20 to 60 feet high, not including the 25-foot-tall overhead electric system — would only run about three miles. But because it crosses the heart of downtown, that section — more than any other part of the 20-mile high-speed rail corridor in San Jose — has attracted the most controversy and sparked fears of a permanent eyesore…Tonight, the City Council will receive an update on the rail project from Hans Larsen, the city’s acting transportation director. Full article

  • New legislation would mean tighter control over PG&E’s actions (SF Examiner)

    …(L)egislation introduced Monday…would tighten regulatory control over California’s utilities in the wake of the devastating explosion of a gas transmission pipeline in San Bruno on Sept. 9…The legislation, introduced by State Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require a number of things from PG&E, which has a monopoly over almost all of Northern California, and the handful of other utilities in the state. Full article

  • No quick fix to state’s jobless (Contra Costa Times)

    California will remain stuck at a historically high unemployment rate for at least two more years and any recovery will likely be spurred by the high-tech and health care industries, a report released today says. By the time the final three months of 2012 roll around, California should manage a jobless rate of 9.9 percent, the UCLA Anderson Forecast said in a closely watched report. California’s unemployment rate at present is about 12.4 percent. Full article

  • Mount Umunhum plan would allow limited public access to the peak in 2012 (San Jose Mercury News)

    The public finally will be allowed to visit the top of Mount Umunhum, the scenic peak in South San Jose that was home to Almaden Air Force Station, but not for another two years, and then only with special permits and docents. Full, open access to drive to the summit — which boasts panoramic views of Monterey Bay and San Francisco yet has been off limits for 30 years — won’t come until 2016. Full article

  • Palo Alto fire study shows poor leadership in department (Palo Alto Daily News)

    The Palo Alto Fire Department has poor leadership and higher-ups aren’t properly prepared for their responsibilities, consultants hired by the city told council members Monday night. Representatives from TriData and the International City/County Management Association provided the council with its first glimpse of a yet-to-be-completed study examining all aspects of the fire department. The consultants are expected to return to the council in February with recommendations and a completed report. Full article

  • The City looks to advance rape testing (SF Examiner)

    The testing of DNA in rape cases could be sped up and perpetrators more speedily brought to justice after years of a problem-plagued process. The Police Department would be required as part of its annual budget submission to report if it is meeting the goal of picking up rape kits within 72 hours of the reported incident, testing evidence within 14 days and testing other DNA evidence from the crime scene within a certain time frame, under proposed legislation. Full article

  • Haight-Ashbury Recyclers Cry Foul on Eviction (Bay Citizen)

    A neighborhood group that runs a recycling collection center at the edge of Golden Gate Park is arguing that an eviction notice the center received was posted illegally by the city…On Friday, following a unanimous vote by Recreation and Park commissioners to endorse plans to build community garden plots at the site of the recycling center, city officials sent a 90-day eviction notice to the council. HANC attorney Robert De Vries, however, wrote in a letter to the city that the quarterly nature of his client’s rent payments protects the recycling facility from eviction for at least six months. Full article

  • Petaluma council won’t give up on Dutra plant (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

    Petaluma City Council members voted Monday to send a strongly worded letter to Sonoma County supervisors, opposing the Dutra asphalt plant tentatively approved just outside Petaluma city limits. Full article

  • British Court Denies Bail to Assange in Sex Inquiry (NY Times)

    Julian Assange, the founder of the beleaguered WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group, was denied bail by a London court in London on Tuesday and said that he would resist extradition to Sweden where he faces questioning in connection with alleged sex offenses. Full article

  • Google to release new smartphone, new Android software (San Jose Mercury News)

    Nearly a year after Google unveiled its first branded smartphone in an unsuccessful bid to transform how consumers bought phones, the company on Monday unveiled its successor. The “Nexus S” won’t change how people buy a phone, but it could someday alter the way people buy almost anything else — by using their smartphone as a credit card. Full article

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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